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Author Topic: Care of Brushes  (Read 4005 times)

dennis

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on: July 11, 2010, 11:28:03 PM
1) Clean your brushes regularly, even during a painting session.

2) After each session carefully clean each brush :
     a) OILS - with clean Mineral Turpentine until all signs of oil paint are gone.
     b) ACRYLICS - with clean water.
     c) WATERCOLOUR - with clean water.

THEN:
        i) Take a bar of soap. Dip the brush (even your oil painting brushes) in water and work up a lot of lather into the bristles & right up into the ferrule. With the brush full of this lather, work the brush bristles gently in the palm of your hand. Do this several times until all traces of colour residue have disappeared.

        ii) Work up some more light lather into the bristles and carefully, with your fingers, re-form them into their original shape. Leave the brush to dry with the lather still in the bristles. With the next session you can simply wash the lather out of the brush using water (Watercolour / Acrylics) or Mineral Turpentine (Oils) before use.

3) N.B. Do NOT use household or commercial detergents to clean your brushes with. Most have harsh ingredients that may seriously harm your brushes.

If this cleaning procedure is not followed your brushes will become stiff with a subsequent loss of it's inherent flexibility.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 01:03:43 AM by dennis »
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bottleman

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Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 03:00:21 PM
What are your views on specially made brush soaps?  Are they actually better than a standard bar of soap?


dennis

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Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 04:55:18 PM
I have used the soap used normally for washing clothes (Sunlight) for years and had no problem with it. I find that it cleans better than normal hand cosmetic soap which has all sorts of unwanted chemicals in it.

I also use a commercially available liquid soap that works extremely well. I find that it penetrates the bristles very well and hauls out all the deep ingrained paint. I use this only when I want to clean brushes which students have neglected to clean properly and the paint has started (or has already) to harden.

It is best to try both and then choose which one suits you the best.
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nolan

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Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 11:09:13 AM
I have used the commercial brush soaps and the ones I have used have worked well, but so do the cheaper alternatives


Val

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Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 01:31:16 AM
I have found a soap here in Grenada called 'Simple', and it is. Just pure soap no fancy additives. Works fantastic even on some of my (very) old oil brushes.  O0
Cheers, Val

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dennis

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Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 01:41:47 AM
Well done. Val :clap:
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nolan

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Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 09:35:18 AM
that bar of soap should last a few years if you only use it for your brushes.

I have made a video showing how to use this technique, should be able to load it later today if my computer is free - I am busy rendering the Perfect Painting course to DVD today which really ties your computer down.  :-X


Val

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Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 05:13:18 PM
Yes, I thought it best to keep this bar in a box with my art gear.  Things we used to find so easily at home  are not always available here. Unfortunately at the moment watercolour paint is hard to find...acrylics are in abundant supply. I was wondering if acrylics could be mixed with w/c? It would definitely help round out my palette of colours. Very short on reds.
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

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nolan

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Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 01:57:06 AM
Val if you mean mix together to form a new colour, then I would say no, but if you mean use them in the same painting, then yes, but i would add any acrylic work in after the watercolour.


Val

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Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 07:16:29 AM
That confirms it...I didn't think they could be mixed together. Having never used acrylics, am I correct that they are used similar to w/c i.e. mixing and thinning with water? Are they more permanent?
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


nolan

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Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 09:14:37 AM
you can thin your acrylics down with water to work like watercolours and also use them as is out the tube to work similar to oils (they are still thinner than oils)


dennis

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Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 09:30:19 AM
You can use acrylic with watercolour paints very successfully BUT, remember, that once that area has dried you will NOT be able to lift out any colour - it is definitely permanent.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


Val

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Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 04:37:27 PM
OK, on that note I will be very careful about how I use them. Will be off to the gallery tomorrow, apparently the artist there uses a lot of acrylics as well as oils. Should be fun. :)
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


erika

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Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 06:44:50 PM
great tips in here - thanks!  I've also learnt a tip from another forum and used it with great success: when you have a 'ruined' brush and are thinking of throwing it in the bin, try this:  squirt some 'Easy Off Bam' (a cleaner available in NZ, don't know elsewhere in the world, sorry...) into a tiny cup or container, enough to just cover the bristles when you stand the brush in this.  Soak the tip of the brush in this for at least 24 hrs - the dried paint (oil or acrylic) should come away with gentle combing with a nail brush, in the direction the bristles are pointing. Soak again if necessary.

Better to try this than throw away a favourite (ruined) brush I tell you!  And the left over Bam can be used for more brushes, no need to throw it out, no matter the colour or condition LOL ;)

just my penny's worth  :)


nolan

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Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 11:30:23 PM
I must give the easy off Bam a try, I have some brushes here that students gave to me after forgetting to clean them and wanted to throw them away.

I have another method I use, but it's quite a bit more tedious which I actually filmed in the week - just need to edit it, then I will upload it.


 

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